How top CFOs are guiding business recovery

June 9th 2021 | Posted by phil scott

How top CFOs are guiding business recovery

How top CFOs are guiding business recovery

Although the picture regarding COVID-19 is not completely stable, the vaccination program means that businesses are able to look to their recovery with a greater level of certainty.

Having seen their role move to become more strategic in recent years, CFOs are at the centre of this business recovery.

Their insights are guiding businesses as they join the effort to drive economic recovery across sectors. Data lies at the heart of CFO actions as they guide businesses in three essential areas, knowledge of working capital, insight-driven decision making, and scenario planning to outline future performance. Digging deeper into these three areas helps us to see how top-performing CFOs are guiding business recovery.

The Entire Picture of Working Capital

The chief priority of CFOs at this time is ensuring that businesses have a clear picture of financial inflows and outflows, given that many businesses have been adversely affected financially during the pandemic. The senior team needs to have a relevant and up-to-date understanding of the financial standing of the business.

Not having accurate real-time working capital information makes this impossible. The major problem with this situation is that it can lead to panic decisions by business leaders. This causes errors such as choosing non-preferential suppliers. Having a 360-degree, real-time view in place provides the opportunity for better-informed spending that optimises costs. This gives businesses the opportunity to begin and eventually complete a successful recovery.

Decision making that is driven by data

Accessing the right data to make accurate decisions is not that easy right now given the amount of disruption that is happening. Top CFOs are making the process easier by removing organisational silos to provide visibility across the business.

This means that decisions are taken with consideration of all areas of the business. All potential obstacles and benefits are visible rather than concentrating on data pertaining to one area of the organisation. Taking this approach makes the overall outcome of decision-making more likely to be a successful one.

Determining future expectations using scenario planning

Unsurprisingly, there is a great deal of uncertainty for businesses right now and that uncertainty affects investors. In this environment, some CFOs from public companies have chosen not to provide ongoing advice to investors. While this is perhaps an understandable approach, it could have an adverse effect on stocks if investors become wary as a result.

For this reason, high-performing CFOs are using the familiar concept of scenario planning to keep investors onboard. They are creating a series of “what if” scenarios regarding the future of their organisation. This forward-thinking approach helps businesses to prove they are stable and planning for a sustained recovery.

Concentrating on these three data-centric areas enables top CFOs to guide their organisations towards recovery as we begin to emerge from the global COVID-19 crisis. Having this type of structured data-driven approach is essential in order for businesses to navigate recovery along what is still a far from a smooth path.

If you are an FD/CFO looking for your next role, register with us. If you are on looking to hire an FD/CFO, get in touch.